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The other Sedaris

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Books Amy Sedaris
Amy Sedaris (AP photo)

Amy Sedaris -- comic actress and sister of literary humorist David Sedaris -- is working on a follow-up to her best seller, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence (which is hilarious and a great gift idea for your fun-loving friends).

The new book is scheduled for release in 2010 and will again feature Sedaris' unique approach to home life through the use of fun, long-forgotten crafts," according to Grand Central Publishing.

Tina Fey working on a book

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As if she weren't busy enough, what with writing, producing and starring in her own Emmy-winning TV show ("30 Rock"), starring in movies ("Baby Mama") and, oh yeah, moonlighting at her old job ("Saturday Night Live"), playing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to great hilarity -- Tina Fey's going to write a book!

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on "Saturday
Night Live."
(NBC photo)

The New York Observer reported last Friday that Little, Brown & Company will release a book of -- what else? -- humorous essays written by the 38-year-old 21st century comedy wonder woman.

It stands to reason that Fey would write a book. She has said on numerous occasions that even though she's gained fame and visibility through her TV acting, she sees herself first and foremost as a writer. Proof positive came last year when she proudly walked the picket line with her Writers Guild brethren during their three-month strike. She also had this to say when she picked up her writing Emmy (for "30 Rock") just a couple of weeks ago: I'm very proud to be a writer, I would not have any of the other jobs I have if I had not been a writer first."

Little, Brown hasn't yet released any details on the deal. Stay tuned...

Supersick, superfunny

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Newmarket Press annouced that it has submitted the word "phallographics" for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary. Editors at Newmarket coined the term to describe the art featured throughout the newly published Superbad: The Drawings (96 pages, $15), a tie-in to last year's hit teen sex comedy "Superbad."

Superbad 2

For those who may not have seen the movie, the character of Seth, as a grade-schooler, had a compulsive habit of drawing penises in various and outrageous situations, in a notebook. You get to seem them all in the end credits. As much as it pains me to admit it, they're sickeningly funny.

The book also includes a foreword by "Superbad" screenwriters Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, who explain how they recruited Evan's brother David Goldberg (a lawyer in Vancouver, Canada) to create the illustrations for the film.

And in case you're wondering, the definition of the new word is as follows:

phal*lo*graph*ics (fa'lo graf'iks), n. The pictorial representation of a phallus, or a depiction relating to or resembling a phallus.

The art of doughnut bouncing

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How to describe The Encyclopedia of Immaturity (Klutz Press, 410 pages, $19.95). First of all, the title, the heft and the cover photo of the "Mona Lisa" with a Sharpie-drawn mustache and glasses, and an arrow through her head, drew me to it...

Encyclopedia of Immaturity

What's in a name?

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Many a colorful character passed through the motel my grandparents ran when I was a kid, but none more colorful than Terry Twaddle and Cotton Beanfang. I never met these gentleman but I knew their names. I remember the adults in my family being quite amused by the unusual monikers, even going so far as to make up a song about the two "lonely rovers."

Retired editor Larry Ashmead, who spent his career in book publishing, loves funny names, too, and he's been "collecting" them for most of his life. So, you could say his life's work now lies between the pages of Bertha Venation: And Hundreds of Other Funny Names of Real People (Harper, 152 pages, $14.95)...

Bertha Venation

Channeling Cleopatra and Mussolini

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Anyone ever ask you that question, "If you could have a conversation with anyone in history, who would it be?" Author Michael A. Stusser asked himself that question and went one step further, conducting "interviews" with the likes of Abraham Lincoln, J. Edgar Hoover, Vincent van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Cleopatra and Confucious, to name a few.

Stusser is a Seattle-based writer and game inventor (The Doonesbury Game, Hear Me Out) whose work frequently appears in Mental Floss magazine — so you know the guy's got a pretty good albeit odd sense of humor. Now his Dead Guy Interviews are collected in paperback, The Dead Guy Interviews: Conversations With 45 of the Most Accomplished, Notorious, and Deceased Personalities in History (Penguin, 291 pages, $14).

The Dead Guy Interviews

Here's some excerpts from a few "interviews" that cracked me up ...

The male mind

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Any woman who's married or been married, or has/had a boyfriend — or a father, brother or male roommate for that matter — will read Stephen Fried's Husbandry: Sex, Love & Dirty Laundry — Inside the Minds of Married Men (Bantam, 177 pages, $18) and be reminded of every annoyance that goes along with such living arrangements.


It's a good thing Fried has a self-deprecating tone and a sense of humor because that's what makes this book accessible to both genders. Men will read, laugh and nod in agreement at Fried's observations culled from his own life...

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